European Commission unveils updated Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER)

On 10 May, the European Commission published the new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (‘VBER’) accompanied by the new Vertical Guidelines. The Commission has also published an explanatory note. The revised VBER and Vertical Guidelines will enter into force on 1 June 2022.

HOTREC’s initial takeaways from the text, which will affect relations between hospitality businesses and online intermediaries such as OTAs and restaurant delivery platforms, are that wide price parity clauses will not benefit from the block exemption anymore – which means that they will be considered as incompatible with the EU Treaties. Narrow price parity clauses will remain authorised as a general rule but it will be possible for the European Commission to withdraw this authorisation in highly concentrated markets.

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